• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

? re harvesting mullein leaves for soil reclamation  RSS feed

 
ellen rosner
Posts: 136
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew mullein this summer so I could use the leaves to compost and amend the soil.

I'm wondering
a) I know mullein draws up nutrients, if this happens in the first year, or is it good to let the plant for another season.
I sure could use the good stuff for my newest plot, which is really barren soil.
I'm planning to experiment, and amend a portion of it with mullein.
and
b) when to harvest the leaves.
I may be too late for this year. Last time I was at the garden the bottom leaves of the plant were brown and crumbling.
Can they still be harvested?
should I wait?

thank you
 
Paul Carson
Posts: 8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see no reason why you couldn’t harvest the leaves this year. As I’m sure you know, mullein is biennial, and will produce seeds during its second year. So I’d harvest what you like, while leaving a few plants to go to seed. Though as long as you leave the root structure intact, all the plants should return next year anyhow.

I’ve watched the mullein population grow from a sparse few, to an incredible magnitude on the mesa behind my house. Their leaf litter is slowly accumulating, covering rocks and bare earth. It’s changing the soil environment. I’m interested to see what the results are. It should only be another 20 years or so, haha.

Keep us informed on how your experiment goes!
 
ellen rosner
Posts: 136
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I sounds like you just leave the leaves to fall off and accumulate on the ground?

I was thinking of adding them to my compost pile.

I don't have 20 years!
I don't know if I'll be gardening when I'm 87. Hope so.


Paul Carson wrote:I see no reason why you couldn’t harvest the leaves this year. As I’m sure you know, mullein is biennial, and will produce seeds during its second year. So I’d harvest what you like, while leaving a few plants to go to seed. Though as long as you leave the root structure intact, all the plants should return next year anyhow.

I’ve watched the mullein population grow from a sparse few, to an incredible magnitude on the mesa behind my house. Their leaf litter is slowly accumulating, covering rocks and bare earth. It’s changing the soil environment. I’m interested to see what the results are. It should only be another 20 years or so, haha.

Keep us informed on how your experiment goes!
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Ellen,
I grow mullein in my garden because of it's beneficial influence on the garden and I use the flowers to infuse into oil for their anti-microbial properties.
 
Paul Carson
Posts: 8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No, I use it like comfrey. I pick the leaves and put them where I want to help amend the soil. Your compost pile will work great.

I observe mullein in nature, and it grows in some rough places! Rocks/clay/sand/dry- nothing seems to faze it. And it makes quite a bit of biomass throughout its’ short lifetime. I believe nature uses the tools at hand to create ecological succession, slowly transforming areas to support more life, and more biodiversity. The mesa behind my house is mostly grasses, cacti, and brush. But as mullein continues to slowly create and improve soil each year, new plants/fungi/animals will find niches they can fill, further speeding the process. And perhaps in a hundred years or so, trees will be the predominating feature of the landscape.

That’s a long time to wait. But that’s where our species comes in. The more we observe and understand how nature builds ecological succession, the more we can mimic it, and condense the process to not only happen within our lifetime, but within a few seasons. That way, we can all sit back and watch our system work for us when we’re 87.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last year we had one mullein on our property. It flowered. We made a point of tossing the seeds around pretty liberally. This year we have perhaps a dozen, maybe more, widely distributed in our yard
Not making any effort to collect the leaves, but hoping next year we get a bunch of flowers, and more seeds, which will once again be tossed about the yard

In only one year of applying permaculture techniques to a yard that is comprised almost entirely of just one type of sand, we have seen astonishing changes to the nature of the soil in the areas we are working to improve. It is very exciting!
 
ellen rosner
Posts: 136
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
some lovely pictures of mullein here.
some info too, but nothing new I don't think to permies:

http://www.livescience.com/52001-common-mullein-herb-plant-photos.html
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!